Don King says the Congo, Philippines could host Stiverne-Povetkin
Hoping to turn back the clock, Don King issued a press release on Wednesday that claimed the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Philippines, where he promoted two of Muhammad Ali’s most iconic fights, are leading candidates to host Alexander Povetkin’s heavyweight title match with Bermane Stiverne for the WBC’s interim strap.
King also listed Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, New York and Las Vegas as other possibilities. The free negotiation period for Stiverne-Povetkin started on Aug. 17; if a deal can’t be made, a purse bid will be conducted on Sept. 16 with a 50 percent split for each fighter and random drug testing conducted by VADA for the bout, according to the WBC.
Povetkin promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy would likely put the bout in Russia if he has his druthers, so these suggestions by King could be nothing more than a good natured pipe dream. That didn’t stop King from suggesting “A salute to greatness championship series” in which a number of famous luminaries such as Nelson Mandela, George W. Bush and Shimon Perez would be honored at the fight.
“This sparked the idea to do something fantastic by memorializing ‘The Greatest of All Time’ Muhammad Ali, to the benefit of the people,” King said in a press release. “So, reflecting on my memories and my historical association with Ali, we, his spirit and I, seized upon the idea to create ‘A Salute to Greatness Championship Series’ by celebrating and paying homage to great boxing champions of the world and paying tribute to great champions of humanity and peace for the world in the spirit of Muhammad Ali.”
The WBC ordered Povetkin to face Stiverne for the right to eventually challenge titleholder Deontay Wilder after it ruled not to suspend Povetkinn for testing positive for the banned substance Meldonium before his canceled bout with Wilder.